Peas, Dry Beans, Bulgur, Chickpeas, Red Lentils
Red lentils, a nutritious food legume used almost exclusively for food consumption, are the primary product is the seed of the lentil plant. Generally, lentils are canned or packaged, whole or split, for retail sale, or processed into flour. Lentils are used in soups, stews, salads, casseroles, snack food and vegetarian dishes. In Southern Asia, split red lentils are used in curries. Lentil flour is added to cereal flour to make breads, cakes and baby foods. Lentils are often used as a meat extender or substitute because of the high protein content and quality. Lentils have a shorter cooking time than other pulses and do not need to be pre-soaked.
Chickpeas are the seed of the annual plant Cicer arietinum, of the pea (Fabaceae, or leguminosae) family, widely grown for its nutritious seeds. The oldest records of the cultivated chickpeas are from Turkey. Historians assume that the crop spread globally from that area to Asia, the Middle East and North Africa. Today, chickpeas are popular throughout China, India, North and Eastern Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. Chickpeas are consumed fresh as green vegetable, parched, fried, roasted and boiled; as snack food, sweets and condiments. They are also ground into flour and used to make soup, bread and sweetmeats.
Bulgur is a quick-cooking form of whole wheat that has been cleaned, parboiled, dried, ground into particles and sifted into distinct sizes. Arbel Bulgur, with three distinct grind sizes as well as whole kernel, provide different textures and cooking properties for a variety of food applications. The result is a nutritious, versatile wheat product with a pleasant, nut-like flavor and an extended shelf-life that allows it to be stored for long periods. Often confused with cracked wheat, bulgur differs from it, because it has been pre-cooked.
Dry beans are annual legumes grown for their seed. There are several varieties of dry beans including pinto (light speckled kidney beans), great northern, navy, pea or small white, small red, pink, kidney, black, white marrow, flat small white and yellow eye. When the European explorers returned from the Americas to their home ports, they brought with them new food crops including beans. Common beans (Phaseolus vulgaris) still represent an excellent whole food and people should be encouraged to incorporate more beans in their diet.
Peas are the predominant export crop in world trade and represents 40% of the total trade in pulses. The major exporting countries, excluding the EEC, are Australia, Canada and USA. Peas are among the four, important cultivated legumes next to soybean, groundnut and beans. Peas are cultivated for the fresh green seeds, tender green pods, dried seeds and foliage. Green peas are eaten cooked as a vegetable, canned or frozen while ripe, dry peas are used whole, solid or made into flour. In some parts of the world, dry peas (green or yellow) are consumed split as dahl, parched or boiled.